“Easy Eddie” became infamous as Al Capone’s attorney during the 1930’s. For many years his legal wit and well composed phrases kept Big Al from being locked behind metal bars. His success at manipulating the system earned him great respect, wealth and prestige among the Chicago mob. However, as Easy Eddie’s children grew, the shine of his material possessions began to tarnish.
Easy Eddie’s conscience weighed heavy as his son Edward “Butch” O’Hare was trying to apply for the Naval Acadamy. Realizing a congressman would have to support the application, he was placed in a moral dilemma. Eddie was very acquainted with many in positions of influence, but his scarred reputation was not the way he wanted to set his son up for success and he feared the legacy he had established for their name.
Being more concerned for his son’s reputation, Easy Eddie knew he had an obligation to rewrite the past and come clean. He knew he would be risking wealth, prestige and possibly his own life, but for his son’s honor it was a price he was willing to pay.
Working with the Internal Revenue Service, Eddie exposed Al Capone’s financial records which gave them the material to build a long awaited case against Capone. He was tried, convicted and sent to Alcatraz in 1933.
This sacrifice for a respectable name ultimately did have a fatal ending. It has never been proven, but strongly suspected that Eddie O’Hare was shot and murdered by men affiliated with Al Capone as he drove home from a racetrack.
Soon after, Butch O’Hare was awarded the Medal of Honor for his courage in single-handedly taking out five enemy bombers and saving the USS Lexington. In 1949 the Chicago’s Orchard Depot Airport was renamed the O’Hare International Airport in honor of his bravery.
In C.S. Lewis’s book, The Great Divorcement, there is a conversation between two ghosts where one says, “The past is all I had.” To which the other one responds, “ the past is all you chose to have.”
Life is a handwritten story book designed by us. There are chapters throughout the book that may not be our finest hour or the finest hour of another. Even though those chapters may exist, we should not spend our time searching and re-reading those chapters to diminish ourselves or others.
We may have to suffer great consequences, but the past does not have to define our future or name. We choose to stay stuck in the past or not. We are the writers of our own story and we have the pen to write the ending.
"But listen, there will be more joy in heaven over the tears of a repentant sinner than over the white robes of a hundred just men."